By Vicki Needham - 09/14/10 03:33 PM EDT
Democrats' concerns over the Johanns amendment centered around the funding for the healthcare programs that they say are a vital part of the new healthcare law.
"I am hearing from Nebraskans that they don’t want to cut wellness programs that help reduce the medical costs for both employers and employees," Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Monday about the Johanns amendment.
The Democratic alternative was paid for by repealing tax cuts for the five largest oil companies, specifically, Section 199 of the tax code, which currently allows these corporations to deduct 6 percent of their income from oil-and-gas production from their tax liability, effective Dec. 31, 2010. This repeal would only apply to the five largest corporations with more than $1 billion of before-tax income.
The five major integrated oil companies, which include BP, had a combined profit of $25 billion in the first quarter of 2010.
Nelson's amendment has come under fire by some business groups that say the increase in taxes will cause at least 150,000 job losses.
—Updated at 11:51 a.m.